Bond will not sacrifice speed

New Zealand’s injury-prone strike bowler Shane Bond will not be sacrificing his speed in order to prolong his career at the top level.

The 31 year-old, who has played just 14 Tests and 45 ODIs in his four-year international career due to frequent and lengthy injury breaks, says that his job is to bowl fast and that is the reason for him being in the team.

Bond, who has taken 64 wickets at an average of 21.53 in Tests and 87 at 18.63 in ODIs, when he is fully fit rates behind only Australia’s Brett Lee and Pakistan’s Shoaib Akhtar in terms of pace. He accepts that his career will be shorter if he continues to strive for pace, but believes that he will be able to offer more to the team during a short period of time bowling at full pace than he could over a longer period of bowling at lesser pace.

New Zealand’s opening match of the ICC Champions Trophy against South Africa on October 16 will be Bond’s first appearance since March, having missed the tour of South Africa in April and a season of County Cricket with a knee injury.

Later in the series New Zealand will face Pakistan in Mohali, a match that will proceed despite threats from an extreme Hindu nationalist group known as Shiv Sena. The group has threatened action to stop the New Zealand team from playing against Pakistan in response to the Mumbai train bombings that killed 187 people in July. Despite the threat of violence from the group, New Zealand Cricket chief executive Martin Snedden says that he is not concerned about the safety of the team and has been in contact with the security company for the tournament and been assured that there is no major cause for concern.

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